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The Testimonies of Simeon and Ana

(Luke 2:25-38)

Lesson 5 -- first quarter 2001
December 31, 2000

by Mark Roth
© Copyright 2000, Christian Light Publications

The aged ones in your life.

I regret to acknowledge that few aged ones play a significant role in my life. I say I believe that older ones have much to contribute to the lives, hopes, energy and vision of the younger ones. But I certainly haven't given them much opportunity to contribute to my own life in this way! I wonder if I should use a public forum such as this to commit myself to connecting better with those who are considerably older than I. Too many of them might read this and wonder why they have seen so little of me in the last six months!

This lesson presents a fresh challenge to me regarding my relationships with the older folks in my home congregation. I want this to be a challenge to you also.

Simeon and Ana had and lived a testimony for the Lord. Surely Joseph and Mary received a tremendous blessing and encouragement from these two aged ones. What do those older than we have to offer us besides their testimony and their blessing?

Vision. God wants to build the dreams of young men on the visions of old men. We need visionaries in our lives who can imbue us with dreams of what God would do with His church, for His church and through His church. Without vision, people perish. If we as younger folks allow the older ones to pass on without first receiving their vision, we will have squandered a tremendous treasure. So let's build relationships that will result in a natural transfer of vision.

Perspective. No matter how much I have experienced in life already, it is improbable that I have experienced as much as Levi, who was my age now when I was born. Therefore, he (and other old folks) have a perspective on life and its challenges, responsibilities and opportunities that I cannot have. Surely we younger ones would be wise to get better acquainted with those perspectives.

How long will you be faithful?

At the first of this year millions of people "welcomed" the new millennium. How fitting that, as this year closes and the new millennium truly dawns, we should have a lesson that speaks of age and faithfulness.

I believe our generation will face deception such as previous generations have not seen. We need the aged ones to keep the faith so that we younger ones can also remain faithful. Simeon and Ana hung on to God and their faith in His promises for quite a long while, and as a result they were able to bless and encourage that young couple who brought a Baby to the temple one day.

Of course God doesn't want the aged ones to take His place as the foundation of our faith. But He does want to pass along the faith from generation through generation. So find those faithful old folks, and be nourished by their faith! It will make your own faithfulness that much more likely. If they haven't let go through all these years, why should you, why should I?

Of babies and stuff....

You'll never hold the Messiah as some people got to. You'll never have the opportunity to pronounce blessings on Baby Jesus like Simeon and Ana did. But in doing it unto the little ones around you, you do it unto Him. No, please don't go around taking babies from their parents and uttering blessings upon them! But you could certainly bless them in and with your prayers. (You could even do this for anyone you think of as a big baby!)

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